Taken from the Cal4wd website.
I think it looks like we negotiated our method of our demise.
FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Paul Turcke 208-331-1800 , Dennis Porter 530-221-4129, Don Amador 925-625-6287
Don Klusman 530-671-4587, Jeri Ferguson 760-956-2783
DATE: January 18, 2001
OHVers and GREENS COMPROMISE TO GUIDE DESERT MANAGEMENT
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Using the bargaining table instead of the courtroom, a diverse group of litigants proposed to end a sweeping lawsuit challenging Bureau of Land Management ("BLM") direction in the California Desert Conservation Area ("CDCA") by filing yesterday 36 pages of agreements establishing interim protective measures to be undertaken while BLM completes consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The agreements were signed by the Center for Biodiversity, BLM, and a coalition of recreational organizations who successfully intervened in the lawsuit. Among the issues addressed by the complex agreements are agency monitoring of wilderness areas and areas of critical environmental concern, vehicle route designations and emergency closures, livestock grazing, mining claims and plans of operation, water diversions, shooting in desert tortoise habitat and animal control. Paul Turcke, a Boise, Idaho, lawyer representing the recreational groups, explained, "It became apparent that these negotiations were going to occur with or without our approval and we concluded we would accomplish more actively negotiating instead of standing on the outside and looking in on the other parties' agreement. Like most, would prefer conquest to compromise, but were not provided that option in this lawsuit."
"Most of the terms affecting vehicular access restate the status quo or clarify the timing of processes that BLM was already performing" said Don Klusman of the California 4 Wheel Drive Association, who participated in the settlement negotiations. "There is a risk that these "interim measures" will be misunderstood by the public and will heighten distrust of government managers, but we continue to believe that recreation, like all resources, requires active management and we hope this agreement will further that goal."
Don Amador, the western representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition, another participant, added, "Some parts of these agreements will be unpopular. To the Center's credit, they were willing to stand for politically incorrect activities like burro removal and predator management where it has been shown that such actions could benefit endangered species. In the end, we think these agreements will allow all involved to get on with our lives under a known process without the risk and expense that further litigation would guarantee."
The agreements require Court approval before taking effect. A previous agreement signed by the Center and BLM addressing livestock grazing in desert tortoise habitat will be addressed at a January 25th hearing before U.S. District Judge William Alsup, where the Court will consider written objections of a grazing permittee and other parties who were denied party status in the case and were not allowed to participate in settlement discussions. The parties have asked the Court to hold a hearing to review the latest agreements on February 8, 2001.
The Blue Ribbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible multiple-use of public lands. It represents over 1,100 organizations and businesses with 600,000 members